July 23rd, 2024

Landmark EU nature restoration plan gets final approval as bloc gives the green light

By The Associated Press on June 17, 2024.

BRUSSELS (AP) – European Union countries on Monday gave final approval to a major and long-awaited plan to better protect nature in the 27-nation bloc.

After surviving a razor-thin vote by lawmakers last summer, the so-called Nature Restoration Plan faced opposition from several member states for months amid relentless farmers’ protests that contributed to leave the bill in a deadlock.

The law, which aims at restoring ecosystems, species and habitats in the EU, was finally adopted at a meeting of environment ministers at Luxembourg after rallying the required support from a qualified majority representing 15 of the 27 member states and 65% of the EU population.

“This is the final step before this law can enter into force,” said the Belgian presidency of the EU Council.

The Nature Restoration plan is a part of the EU’s European Green Deal that seeks to establish the world’s most ambitious climate and biodiversity targets, and make the bloc the global point of reference on all climate issues.

Under the plan, member states will have to meet restoration targets for specific habitats and species, to cover at least 20% of the region’s land and sea areas by 2030.

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